The potentially devastating impact and consequences of the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Rule has become clear, even to those whom the rule is not supposed to impact.
Indeed, an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Public-College Leaders Rail Against Education Dept.’s ‘Regulatory Culture’” – sheds light on the frustrations of many leaders in the higher education space, including those from non-profit, public colleges and institutions, over the Department’s policy proposals and regulatory actions.
George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College – a public college in New Jersey – stated that the Department’s “regulatory culture” is one of the “principal impediments to innovation” in higher education reform. He even took it one step further to suggest that the Department’s GE regulations are having a widespread negative impact – despite the fact that they are sharply focused on proprietary colleges. The article says:
“Those rules may have been meant primarily for proprietary colleges, but they are having a negative impact on all sectors of higher education, Mr. Pruitt argued, and they reflect a view that makes compliance a priority over quality assurance.”
It certainly speaks volumes when someone calls attention to the illogical nature of a regulation that is not supposed to directly affect or penalize him or her. While the Department has repeatedly emphasized that it is trying to root out the “bad actors” in higher education, it seems to be causing only more damage – not only for the good for-profit colleges that deliver quality educational programs, but for the higher education landscape as a whole.